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What to bring up when...

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  • What to bring up when...

    ...Asking to work at your barn during the summer. I want to ask my trainer if I can work at the barn over the summer, but I'm not sure what I should ask for in exchange for my work, or if I should even ask for anything at all and let her be the one to bring up that end of the deal. I don't think she'd be able to pay me, but I don't know if I should ask for this to be a working student type deal (ride other horses in addition to my own), or if I should ask for discounted lessons or board. If she's ok with me working there over the summer, I'd likely be working everyday (except weekends). If this goes through I'll be helping the current barn manager.
    TIA
    If i smell like peppermint, I gave my horse treats.
    If I smell like shampoo, I gave my horse a bath.
    If I smell like manure, I tripped.

  • #2
    When I was a young teenager, I did a similar thing. After having ridden at the barn for a year or so, I approached the BO and asked her if I could work for her during summers and weekends. I didn't have any preconceived ideas about what I would be doing. Since I was completely self-funded in my equestrian pursuits, I was happy to just be around horses.

    She responded positively and had a plan for what to do. Not only did I get paid (and a fair wage at that) I also got to ride additional horses. The following year I had more responsibilities, including starting some youngsters.

    I would say have some ideas in your mind about what you might want to do and then see what she says. Maybe she will come up with something cooler than you previously thought. Or she might ask you what you had in mind in which case you can bring up what ideas you had.

    Comment


    • #3
      Let her set up the exchange rate. She has a better handle on what the profit margins are and how much each task is worth / how long things should take.

      But do bring up the idea - there's no harm in that. Bear in mind though that if she can't afford to pay you, then she also can't afford to lose the income she currently gets from you. So your payment is likely to be in terms of extra rides and teaching rather than you not having to pay regular board.

      Comment


      • #4
        I had a similar conversation with my trainer as a teenager, about working off lessons. She was pretty well set for barn help and couldn't really afford to lose the full lesson price, but she let me work a few hours a week in exchange for a discounted lesson rate and occasional extra rides. I cleaned a lot of tack, helped the younger kids tack up, did some turnout, and tidied up when nothing else was going on. Even though I couldn't work off full lessons during the year, when the time came to hire show grooms I was at the top of her list.
        "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden

        Phoenix Animal Rescue

        Comment


        • #5
          I think compensation really depends on a lot of factors.

          How old are you? How much help are you around the barn? Do you already know how to do most jobs or will you have to be taught?

          In a perfect world, the best compensation packages = about what the person would be paid. If they're worth $8/hr, lessons are $50, you get a lesson + lunch each work day. If you're worth $10/hr and lessons are $30, you work out compensation (maybe 1 lesson + extra saddle time daily) to equal this. However, in order for this to work, you must be WORKING for all the hours counted. Time that the instructor takes teaching you things is part of your compensation (an education).

          Overall, a good situation is one where both parties are happy. But do make sure you hash out the details ahead of time and make sure everyone is on the same page. Just talk to her! I'm sure you'll come up with a good deal for both of you.
          Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique

          Comment


          • #6
            I think compensation really depends on a lot of factors.

            How old are you? How much help are you around the barn? Do you already know how to do most jobs or will you have to be taught?

            In a perfect world, the best compensation packages = about what the person would be paid. If they're worth $8/hr, lessons are $50, you get a lesson + lunch each work day. If you're worth $10/hr and lessons are $30, you work out compensation (maybe 1 lesson + extra saddle time daily) to equal this. However, in order for this to work, you must be WORKING for all the hours counted. Time that the instructor takes teaching you things is part of your compensation (an education).

            Overall, a good situation is one where both parties are happy. But do make sure you hash out the details ahead of time and make sure everyone is on the same page. Just talk to her! I'm sure you'll come up with a good deal for both of you.
            Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique

            Comment


            • #7
              Most definitely hash out details and work out a fair amount of time it takes to do the work. You do not want to get into a situation where you are getting paid for 2-3 hours of work and working 5.

              For instance, I work at my barn and the pay is x.xx per hour. This is for feeding and cleaning stalls with one other person. The time do all of this is 2 hours. If you get done in 1:45, (which we sometimes are), that is great, we get paid for 2 hours. If we are slower that day and you work 2:15, we still get paid for 2 hours.

              This is with very clear expectations, feed, turnout, clean. The boss doesn't come down and say, oh can you lunge this one? Groom this one, etc.
              I don't always feel up to arguing with your ignorance

              Comment


              • #8
                I'd be careful and read renumeration rules for Junior and Ammies per USEF before you start asking for anything...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by silanac View Post
                  I'd be careful and read renumeration rules for Junior and Ammies per USEF before you start asking for anything...
                  There are no reMuneration rules for Juniors.
                  When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                  The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Wonders12 View Post
                    I think compensation really depends on a lot of factors.

                    How old are you? How much help are you around the barn? Do you already know how to do most jobs or will you have to be taught?
                    I'm a teenager, but I know how to do most or all of what will be asked of me (I'll probably be helping the BM take care of the daily barn chores. I'll mostly just need to learn the routine and get into the swing of things.
                    If i smell like peppermint, I gave my horse treats.
                    If I smell like shampoo, I gave my horse a bath.
                    If I smell like manure, I tripped.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Update!
                      My trainer just emailed me back and said that I could work at the barn this summer! Now all that's left to work out is the details. So excited!
                      If i smell like peppermint, I gave my horse treats.
                      If I smell like shampoo, I gave my horse a bath.
                      If I smell like manure, I tripped.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My trainer/friend usually has a couple of teens from our barn help her out during the summer - generally its either at the barn when she's on the road, or they come w/ her when she's on the road at shows. I think she gives them lessons in exchange for work, sometimes she owes them $ as well. If you think she can't afford to pay you cash, then work in exchange for free lessons and/or discounted board.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by DottieHQ View Post
                          Update!
                          My trainer just emailed me back and said that I could work at the barn this summer! Now all that's left to work out is the details. So excited!
                          Congratulations! Now - don't be so excited, you give yourself away. Minimum wage is about ? $7.50/hr? So do the math and have a value/figure in mind when you talk details with her.

                          Carol
                          www.ayliprod.com
                          Equine Photography in the Northeast

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by ccoronios View Post
                            Congratulations! Now - don't be so excited, you give yourself away. Minimum wage is about ? $7.50/hr? So do the math and have a value/figure in mind when you talk details with her.

                            Carol
                            I'll get to ride other horses (in addition to my own) in exchange for work...so, similar to a working student deal, but not quite.
                            If i smell like peppermint, I gave my horse treats.
                            If I smell like shampoo, I gave my horse a bath.
                            If I smell like manure, I tripped.

                            Comment

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